By Matt Murphy
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
STATE HOUSE — Just weeks after Gov. Charlie Baker signed his first state budget, the governor’s senior finance team has undergone a shakeup with the top three budget aides moving into different roles within the administration as part of what the office is calling “normal turnover.”
Assistant Secretary for Budget Eric Rebello, who joined the Baker administration in January from House Minority Leader Brad Jones’s office, has moved into the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs as chief financial officer.
Rebello previously worked as chief of staff to Jones, a North Reading Republican, before joining the administration and helping to guide the Baker administration through its first budget process, which led to the signing of a $38.1 billion fiscal 2016 budget and the issuance of $162 million in vetoed spending.
Rebello’s two deputy budget directors – Nick Dantzer and Dana Clowes – are also transitioning out of the Executive Office of Administration and Finance. Dantzer starts this week as budget director for Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders, while Clowes will start next week as the chief financial officer at the Department of Public Safety.
“There were other needs around. It’s not uncommon for analysts and budget people to leave right after the signing and veto process. It’s a downtime and a time to restock,” said Dominick Ianno, chief of staff to Administration and Finance Secretary Kristen Lepore.
To replace Rebello, Lepore has hired former Group Insurance Commission deputy director Catharine Hornby as her new budget director. Hornby has clerked at the Supreme Judicial Court and worked at the Senate Ways and Means Committee as an analyst and deputy budget director under Sen. Mark Montigny and former Sen. Therese Murray.
Analysts Katie Alijewicz and Chris Thompson have also both been promoted to the position of deputy budget director, according to Ianno. They will replace Dantzer and Clowes, who started in the office during the previous administration of Gov. Deval Patrick.
Patrick’s first budget director, Matt Gorzkowicz, lasted in the job for nearly three years before transitioning to another role in the Administration and Finance office.
Since Baker took office at the start of the year, his budget team has been challenged to close what was projected in January to be a nearly $800 million mid-year budget deficit while simultaneously preparing its first annual budget plan by March.
Baker has since filed a third major budget bill in less than a year, proposing $357 million in spending and additional financial resources to close out accounts for the fiscal year than ended July 1.